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p. 514. States of matterlocked

  • Peter Atkins


‘States of matter’ describes the three traditional states — gas, liquid, and solid — and the models used to predict and understand their behaviour. The van der Waals equation of state captures many of the properties of real gases. The classical way of studying the motion of molecules in liquids is to measure its viscosity. Techniques include neutron scattering and nuclear magnetic resonance. X-ray diffraction is used to determine the structures of solids. Intermediate states of matter — where liquid meets gas and liquid meets solid — are also considered. Examples include supercritical fluids, soft matter such as liquid crystals, and graphene, a remarkable and essentially two-dimensional material.

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